The relationship between shippers (those that have goods to ship but don’t own trucks) and carriers (those that don’t make goods but rather ship goods for others) can sometimes be tense. However, both agree on remaining competitive and satisfying their end customer’s needs.
And what better way to win their ultimate customer than with a cleaner, abundant, domestic and lower-cost fuel to ship these goods. Whether you make or truck raw materials, consumer or industrial goods, livestock, finished food or beverages, the benefits and payback are clear.
According to a May 9, 2014 report by FleetOwner: "Under pressure to reduce transportation costs, shippers are in position to accelerate the transition to less expensive NG, according to David Uncapher, transportation operations leader for Owens Corning. "'Shippers have to be willing to share the cost [of converting to NG],'" he said. "'If you're a shipper, and your greedy about it and want all the fuel savings, at least initially, with all the additional costs there [for carriers], you'll be challenged to grow [NG use].'" As shippers, companies can also work collaboratively to build lanes or routes with enough demand to justify development of NG fueling location. "'Shippers will create the demand that grows the infrastructure,'" Uncapher said. There also needs to be incentives for carriers to make the substantial capital investments required to transition to NG. "'The majority of carriers we work with were initially standoffish until they saw one particular carrier grow sevenfold in our network,'" said Uncapher. "'There aren't a lot of carriers coming to me saying they want run the same lane with the same volume and buy new trucks to do it, but continue to make the same money. So we really have to offer incentives like longer contracts, because the carriers have to see the opportunity for a gain to go out and make that investment.'" Several other Shippers are partnering with Carriers to drive the transition to natural gas fuel, the rest may be left in the dust.